Saturday, January 28, 2006

Meme - and more

I'm taking on Cinn's challenge. I kind of like the idea of a marriage contract that runs for a limited period of time. Just because you've been together for a while, you shouldn't assume it will last forever.

The rules of this particular Meme are that you have to list 8 traits about your perfect partner, and have to tell if they are male or female.

a - preferred partner is female

1. loves self - you can't love others if .....
2. loves me - duh
3. independent - I can do almost anything in the house or out - expect the same from my partner
4. attractive and sexual- duh - better think I'm ok in these departments too!
5. trusting - I will believe in you until you prove me wrong; I expect the same. However, once trust is broken, good bye!
6. reliable - NO, 30 minutes late is not acceptable - NO, spending $5K on furniture (without discussion) ...
7. no games - together we can do anything; games will keep us from being effective.
8. optimistic - Thanks, Cinn. My MIL, who just passed away, was "an unhappy person". It was catching; her daughter caught it. Very, very sad! However when we are away from the family stuff, she becomes more optimistic. Love it! So we have to go away ;) ....

BTW, my wife is a 95%er here. She had 100% going up to number 8 and if we are off traveling she gets a 100. Lucky me!

Prepared meat for jerky today. I buy the cheapest round or London broil or whatever that I can find; so long as there is almost no fat. Originally jerky was made from wild meat, like venison. It is naturally very lean. The fat will spoil and taint the jerky. I'm trying to find a beef cut that is almost that lean. I cut it thin (1/16th inch or less) and marinate overnight. The marinade came off the net then got modified to suit my 'customers'. Now it is: 1/4 cp soy sauce, 1/2 cp worchestershire, 2 T red pepper flakes, 1 t onion powder, 1/2 t garlic powder, 1 t liquid smoke. Marinate overnight in a freezer bag with all the air pressed out. If I can I like to massage the mass a couple of times to redistribute the marinade/meat mixture. Tomorrow I'll put it on the dehydrator for 5 to 7 hours. (Dehydrator being a cheap $40 version with really NASTY broken plastic trays!)

Dinner tonight was steak, potato, corn. BBQ steak with special soy-worchestershire-garlic marinade; nuke a baker (dull and not very good but quick); warm canned corn spiked with pepper & a little butter. Pretty dull stuff but easy.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sunny Florida

This is generally the dry, comfortable season in Florida. Highs are in the 70's; lows in the 50's. We get rain once every couple of weeks. At least that is the hope! So far this year has been quite nice and that equates to using the bbq! If our bbq isn't used 50 weeks a year I'd be surprised. The other day was salmon.

We get farm raised Atlantic salmon here; mostly filets rather than steaks. A normal size filet runs about 3 lbs. It seems to have more oil than the Pacific salmons but we managed to choke it down. We marinate it in a little lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle on some lemon pepper, salt, regular pepper, perhaps some herbs and let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes.

When I cook it I do something that will definitely piss off real cooks: I put the salmon skin side down on a piece of foil on the bbq. It slows the cooking but the skin sticks to the foil. To release it I slide a knife under the fish and leave both foil and skin to be disposed of later. The salmon is lovely eaten immediately or later. Which is what brought this post to mind: dinner tonight was salmon salad. Yum!

Hope you all had something as fine.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A New Era

A new era in our lives began today at about 14:45 EST. My mother in law, one of the reasons we moved here, died. She died while we were visiting her along with her last surviving sister and one of the sister's children. The people at the home were just great; the LPN had only been there as an LPN for 4 months as was nearly as affected as we. Anyway, now we have no reason not to move on. Whether we sell this house or stay; whether we travel the US or not; whether we move to Europe or not: now we have only children and cousins to consider and, while they are important, we don't feel the need to stay here for them.

I read of a healing mantra that one could say on New Year's Eve in which one forgave all of one's enemies. I am happy to say that I couldn't think of a single person that I was so angry with that I felt the need to exercise the mantra. I am not sure why this is so; perhaps it is a result of a retirement in which I feel no need to associate with persons who make me angry. More likely it is a result of a temporary lull in relations with people. Whatever, I am thankful for it and wish that everyone may find themselves in this happy state on the next New Year's Eve. If not, I hope you may try the mantra, or something similiar, and forgive and forget the wrongs you have been done. In any event, Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Wow! A month later.....

It seems that I've let time get away without writing. Well, the holidays are fun for everyone, aren't they!

The good news is that we survived them all pretty much without injury.

Let's see: Xmas eve was the traditional (for us) enchilladas for my wife's aunt & uncle, our daughter and her friend. At the last minute the daughter decided to go home rather than stay the night, it's only about 25 miles to her place so it was no big deal. I think she had forgotten how dull a bunch of full, sleepy, middle-aged people can be. Unfortunately, as it turns out, her friend didn't want to go do anything exciting either so she was stuck with her cat. Now that's life in the fast lane!

Xmas was fine. The kid was back at 08:30 so she wouldn't miss any presents. We opened stuff to and from the people who were here (aunt, uncle, daughter, wife & me). Then she and I went & got my MIL from the nursing home. They got in an argument during the 15 minute ride home but that isn't news. The daughter doesn't like seeing her Grandmother old and infirm. It makes her act badly; as though she were a kid rather than a 35 year old woman. Anyway, we finally got here, opened presents to and from the MIL. She buys these stupid, tv-ad type presents & everyone has to say 'oh, gee, just what I always wanted'. And, of course, she hates everything that anyone buys for her: too heavy; too light; too big; useless. She is quite the piece of work! Dinner was prime rib, potatoes, vegie, salad. The meat was good; should be at that price but you always worry. I even ate all mine and I'm not much of a fan. Then we took the MIL back to the home & everyone else left. The wife let the tension out by getting completely drunk between the time I left and the time I got back; 40 minutes at most. It was pretty impressive actually. It's one thing to drink for hours and hours but to go from 2 glasses of wine with dinner to drunk in 40 minutes; it takes talent! But what the hell, it's Xmas.

New Year's Eve is a time that my wife and I reserve for just us. We talked a lot about what the future may bring. We'll be selling the duplex we bought as a residence for the MIL. We may leave Florida but since we don't have any place that we really prefer we may not. Decisive, huh? Filet & salad and cab for dinner.

New Year's Day we did ham, mac & cheese, vegie, etc for ourselves and the MIL. Daughter was invited but thought she would rather have a quiet day alone. We didn't push it because we didn't really want to have just the two of them as guests. It worked out well. Extra attention for the MIL always works for her! We always make Hoppin John for New Years. Having it on New Year's Day is supposed to bring you luck for the entire year. It is a Southern tradition that we strangers have adopted. It is rice & blackeyed peas cooked with ham hock, ham, red pepper flakes, etc. Very nice comfort food whether it brings luck or not.

So that's our holiday report. No big changes but some gradual movements.

1. The daughter is going to try to get away from her 'friend' since they don't really get along that well. Theirs has been a friendship of convenience since they lived next door to one another for almost five years. Now she has moved and, hopefully, can find other people to have fun with.

2. The MIL seems to be settling into the nursing home though she steadfastly refuses to have anything to do with the social side of the place and simply stays in her bed all day. She is probably declining but it is imperceptable to me.

3. We are going to clean up and sell the duplex. No hurry but it will be great to be free of it. Not to mention the cash will be a welcome addition to the old bank account!

I'll try to do this again before the month is out! Not a resolution but... a hope.